2007-04-08: Kill Mara: Volume One


Sylar_icon.gif Mara_icon.gif

Summary: Tick tock…

Date It Happened: April 8, 2007

Kill Mara: Volume One

Mara's Flat

Nestled atop a record shop, the apartment of Detective Damaris is rather sparsely furnished, suggesting she doesn't spend much time at home. A brown leather couch is set in the middle of the living area, facing the wall where a modest-sized television sits. The only sort of decoration to the room is a deep purple shag rug laid out in front of a bookcase opposite the davenport and television. The kitchen is done in black and white counter tops and cupboards with a rack suspended above the stove containing copper-bottom cookware.
While the rest of the apartment lacks that sort of "lived in" feel, the bedroom is quite obviously Mara's personal sanctuary. The bedding is a chocolate brown colour with large mint green, cream, powder blue and baby pink dots patterned in neat rows across the spread and pillowcases. The walls are adorned with various photographs - most of them depict a happy couple with a baby girl. In all pictures after toddlerhood, the girl is seen with only one half of the couple. There's a picture of the girl and the father in what appears to be the French Quarter of New Orleans. Another is the mother and daughter in front of Buckingham Palace. In both pictures, the dark haired girl is smiling a happy, gap-toothed smile, proving the photos are of Mara with her parents. Her diplomas, awards and other commendations are also framed and displayed upon the walls.
Scattered among the photos and the accolades are newspaper clippings. Accounts of grisly murders, all the victims having had their brains removed, except for two. Chandra Suresh, murdered in his cab, and Eden McCain, a suicide. There's very little of the walls actually visible anymore, as though the articles were being used as wallpaper. Directly across from the foot of the bed stands a grandiose, deep cherry wood grandfather clock. The pendulum swings back and forth ceaselessly, filling the apartment with the constant, obstinate rhythm.
Tick, tock, tick, tock…

Hiro Nakamura may have made things painfully simple - just don't go back there. Well, sure, she could do that. But then there's Matt Parkman, who told her to stop being a damned coward and be ready to take down the man before he can get to her. She knows where he's going to be when he comes to get her, so she may as well be there, right? Right. And the most important part is that she's away from Nathan's watchful eye. Getting away from Nathan was a priority, so as to save them both pain. Sure. It really is nice to be home, all things considered. More clothes, books, booze (not that she's partaking, of course), her own, better television. But what she really missed most was the massaging shower head. While she has to be careful not to be an idiot and hit her injured knee with it, it does wonders for the ache in her shoulders from hunching over while she was on her crutches.

The shower is shut off and Mara towels off before stepping out into the open bathroom, taking the time to pull on her lounge shorts and the man's dress shirt she sleeps in when she's not trying to look pretty for someone. Considering she's spending the night alone, that would be right now. She takes a moment to plug in her hair dryer before grabbing a washcloth to wipe the fog off the bathroom mirror.

It's fortunate that Mara chose to leave her bathroom door open. After all, breaking into her house only to reveal his presence prematurely by having to open the door would be somewhat of a letdown for Sylar. The detective thinks she's brave. Sylar wants to show her just how terrifying things can be.

Stalking through the hallway, silently, the killer reaches the bathroom door and stands just outside it, keeping an ear turned towards the doorway to listen for the shower to end. When it finally does, where the killer once was, he is no more. Gone. Disappeared. Invisibility /is/ a nice trick. He moves forward, just inside the door, standing right behind the detective. Just before she begins to wipe the mirror off, he's visible again. When the fog from the mirror is cleared… there the killer stands. A smirk on his face, his eyes making contact with Mara's in the mirror. "Hello, detective," he says, his voice low. If she turns around to confront him, she'll find a nice surprise. He's no longer there.

It's as though time has stopped.


He can't be!

Mara's eyes widen, terrified at what she's seeing. Only when he speaks does she whip around quickly, fumbling around behind her where she left her gun on the sink. Except that it isn't there. And neither is he. You're losing it, Damaris.

The moment he disappeared, Sylar was moving through the house. Along the way, every light that's on in the house is shutoff, one by one, until the only light in the apartment comes from ambient light outside. He finally comes to a stop in the living room, choosing to keep himself invisible for the time being. He speaks, just loud enough for it to carry down the hallway towards Mara. His tone is low, full of malice, and somehow playful at the same time. Almost as if he was calling her in a game of hide and seek. "Oh, detective…"

Definitely not losing it. Shit. Mara stands with a white-knuckled grip on the porcelain sink behind her, shaking with fear. Rather than emerge from the bathroom, she nudges her good foot under her discarded clothes and kicks up her skirt, catching it in one hand and fishing the cell phone out of it. She presses 5 and then send. Nathan's speed dial. Even though she's mad at him (and vice versa), he's still the first one she calls. Only then does she start to move toward the door, grabbing her cane in one hand as she tucks the phone against her chin and shoulder. Pick up, Nathan. Pick up. Please, Nathan. Pick up! "Are you having fun, Gabriel?" she calls out cautiously.

Silence. As the phone rings with no answer yet from the other end, not a single bit of sound escapes from the living room. Sylar is quiet as well, his footsteps as light as a cat's as he moves towards the bathroom. He heard Mara pressing buttons on her cell phone. He can thank the mechanic for that ability.

But before Nathan can answer his phone, before Mara can call for help, Sylar's voice suddenly rings out. "A bit." From behind, Mara's phone suddenly flies out from in between her shoulder and chin, feeling as if it was pushed from behind, bouncing off the wall and landing in the hallway, still ringing.

Mara gasps sharply, somehow suppressing the urge to scream. Still, she shakes like a leaf as she looks over her shoulder oh-so-slowly, afraid of what she'll see. But more scared not to see. "This is it then, is it? You've finally come for me for real?" Keep him talking, Damaris.

When Mara looks over her shoulder, there's nothing to see. In the hallway, the phone shakes slightly, and then, quickly, flies down the hallway a few feet, coming to a rest halfway in between the bathroom and the living room. The ringing stops, and then Nathan's voice comes over the phone, tinny and distant. A few seconds later, the phone flies the rest of the way, landing somewhere in the living room.

Does she cry for help? Or does she keep her brave face on? Not that Mara looks terribly brave, trembling like she is. Slowly, carefully, she makes her way down the hallway, listening keenly for which direction Gray's actually in. "Don't hang up," she orders in a raised voice, firm. Whether she's actually ordering Nathan or the serial killer is debatable.

The phone is off somewhere towards the couch, having tumbled through the living room and come to a rest. There's a soft glow coming from the screen, lit up with Nathan's name on it. Sylar is nowhere to be seen, and he's deathly silent. The entire apartment is, the phone muffled against the carpet. "Detective." A sudden whisper, carrying across the apartment from close to the front door. Away from the phone.

"It's not 'detective' anymore, Gabriel." Mara says quietly, changing direction toward the cell phone. "You ruined my career. Reeling me in like that. Making sure I couldn't do anything but think about you. About who you might kill next. About just how special you are…"

As Mara speaks, a glass left on the end table suddenly begins to rattle, slowly sliding across the table. It inches closer and closer to the edge, balancing between that thin line of falling and staying upright. With a final rattle it slides off the side of the table, landing with a dull thunk in the carpet and rolling towards the phone, clinking against the plastic. "I /am/ special," Sylar says, his voice suddenly coming from the hallway. There's a hint of amusement in his voice. He's clearly enjoying his game, in fact proving just how special he is.

When she hears his voice has moved away from the door, her course toward the cell phone is abruptly changed and, despite the screaming pain in her knee, Mara makes a mad dash for the exit.

The invisible killer allows Mara to make it all the way to the door, but the attempt is futile. The door refuses to open, the deadbolt engaged, and even if Mara tried to turn it, she wouldn't be able to. Telekinesis is a wonderful thing in the sport of murder. Mara's attempts with the door shouldn't last long, because the next thing she knows, Sylar is there, right behind her, visible. He puts his hands on her shoulders, leaning in close, whispering near the side of her head. "Mara."

For a moment, she's frozen. But only a moment. Mara jerks her elbow back sharply with a shout, hoping to stun the killer at her back. Should that prove even remotely successful, she intends to whirl around and swing her cane at his head.

Mara's blow does hit, but Sylar takes it in stride, stepping away from the detective and disappearing again. When she whirls around with her cane, she hits nothing. "Your one quality," Sylar's voice says, from her left. He then falls silent, but his voice suddenly rings out again, this time from the right. "You always had some fight in you." Immediately after that, Mara would feel the sensation of fingers on the back her neck.

Mara first turns to her left, and then to her right. Her teeth are gritted together as she waits, listening. The fingers on her neck cause her to shiver, but she holds her ground, somehow. "Still do, Gabriel. But you like that about me, don't you? I won't go down easily." All the same, she's swallowing back the fear, thick as the bile in the back of her throat.

When Mara's done speaking, the sensation disappears from the back of her neck. There's a slow exhale of breath from somewhere close, and Sylar tsks. "Is that so?" he asks of her, his voice growing louder as he gets closer. "Why don't we find out." Mara is suddenly and forcefully pushed from behind, the pressure on her upper back pushing down as well with the clear intent of knocking her straight to the floor.


Mara hits the floor hard, but fortunately her palms slam down ahead of her to break the fall somewhat. All the same, she lets out a grunt of pain before her eyes snap up toward the phone. Please, still be on the line. "NATHAN!" she shouts, "Nathan, he's here!"


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